BAYONNE – Mayor Jimmy Davis today issued a statement about recent reports that United Water is issuing quarterly bills charging the 2015 usage rate for some of last year’s (2014) water consumption.
Late last week several outlets began to report that Bayonne residents were receiving bills for 2014 water service at the new, higher, water rates established by a 40-year contract between United Water and the Bayonne Municipal Utilities Authority adopted in 2012.
United Water officials indicated that this was the historical practice for billing, however Davis disagreed and asserted that this practice was unfair to ratepayers City-wide.
“It’s just not right,” said the Mayor. “Residents should be billed what they owe based on active rates and not a penny more. By doing otherwise you are basically asking people to pay more than their fair share.”
Throughout the week the Mayor, BMUA Executive Director Tim Boyle, and other administration officials have been in communication with United Water about the issue. Today, United Water committed that all residents billed at the higher rate for the last quarter would be credited the applicable over-billed amount.
The Mayor’s Chief of Staff, Andrew Casais, stated that for the Administration it became a matter clarity, fairness, and effectiveness for ratepayers. “The rate coincides with the year, and the new rate did not become effective until January 1, 2015. Water usage after 1st will have the new rate applied, but retroactive billing would be an undue burden.”
“I’m glad we have come to this understanding,” Davis stated. “In light of confusion caused by statements made by officials of the prior administration I think it is necessary that we have clarity when it comes to billing matters”